Police raids on gambling dens foiled by leaks, says Integrity Commission

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PETALING JAYA: About 60 per cent of planned police raids against gambling dens were foiled due to leaks of the operations, Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) chairman Yaacob Md Sam said, adding that some of leaks came from within the force.

“When the police mounted operations against illegal gambling outlets in 2015, their success rate was only 43 per cent as information on about 60 per cent of the operations were leaked, including by those working hand in glove with those running the illicit trade,” Yaacob told the New Straits Times.

He said this in response to a report that in a recent operation, “mini casinos” operating from a shopping mall in the city went back into business hours after the raid.

Yaacob’s claim, however, has not sat well with Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar who shot back: “Don’t be too quick to claim there are moles within the police force. But if there are, we will act.”

The newspaper reported that the five “mini casinos” raided, including one that was shut down on Tuesday, were back in business on the same day, and “tontos” (thugs) were everywhere, monitoring movements that could threaten their operations.

The leak of information could also explain the “conspicuous” absence of punters at the gambling dens during the raid, in contrast with the steady stream of visitors, including minors and Muslims, who reportedly poured into the joints when the NST conducted its surveillance in days leading to the raid.

City police chief Amar Singh assured that his CID chief will “look into the issue”.

On the issue of enforcement, the daily also got the police and the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), who had different stories to tell.

Federal police CID director Mohmad Salleh said that fully relying on the police to crackdown on illegal gambling would be “ridiculous”, adding that DBKL should mobilise its “2,000 enforcers” to fight the problem.

“This is under their (DBKL) scope of enforcement. They are the local authority. It’s unacceptable. Don’t they have any of their men patrolling the area? These outlets are located at a popular spot, they should be doing something about it,” he said, adding that the city council should be able to handle the issue as it only had KL to monitor, whereas the police had the whole country to look after.

One way city council could go after gambling den operators, said Mohmad, was by checking for abuse of licence by the operators.

DBKL’s Petty Traders Management Department director Ibrahim Yusoff, however, said the premises involved in the latest raid, had been raided twice before, as they were operating gambling dens at family entertainment centres and arcades in the mall.

Ibrahim also said that his council lacked the strength in its enforcement team, and that was the reason it was unable to launch a “major” crackdown in the city.